A warning: [a]Ozomatli[/a]'s singles, [B]'Cut Chemist Suite'[/B] and [B]'Superbowl Sundae (Peanut Butter Wolf Mix)'[/B], only tell [I]part [/I]of the story....

A warning: Ozomatli's singles, 'Cut Chemist Suite' and 'Superbowl Sundae (Peanut Butter Wolf Mix)', only tell part of the story. Some of the Cuban funk, salsa and traditional Latin musics on offer here are underscored by a killer hip-hop sensibility - that's DJ Cut Chemist and his Jurassic 5 colleague Chali 2na. But a larger chunk is the pure, uncut real salsa deal. Which, great though it is, is perhaps unlikely to be the average NME reader's cup of tea.

Formed in response to the right-wing Californian state government, Ozomatli are inherently political. However, seeing as much of the material is presented in the members' first tongue, Spanish, much of the invective the lyrics may well be carrying quite literally does not translate. On tracks like the blistering 'Cumbia De Los Muertos' ('Listen To The Dead') this doesn't matter so much, the righteous anger of the track burning through the grooves and the accusatory melodies. However, other tracks, such as 'Aqui No Sera' and 'La Misma Cancion', shorn of their lyrical content, seem little more than pleasing exercises in exotic forms of traditional music. Witheringly Anglo-centric this may be, but it's a genuine drawback.

Ozomatli are at their most stirring when the traditional forms collide with Cut Chemist and Chali 2na's hip-hop flavas; the slow-burning, lengthier album take of 'Superbowl Sundae' is the standout, the railing horns, stabbing samples and 2na's slow-burning lyrical flow building up to the smoothest live-rap Molotov since Michael Franti's permanently underrated Spearhead.

It's unlikely that any further tracks from this LP will become Zok Ball's single of the week, but that is no reason for you not to grab a copy and try on a different cut of funk. Reject average.
7 / 10

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